Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | November 21, 2011

Whistle while you work

Have finally worked out how to get online here!

Today started with a formal meeting for all crews, where we were welcomed by the local tourism minister, and given a demonstration of the local whistling language by 2 expert exponents of it. This seems to involve “whistling the words” with exaggerated inflections, and it’s used because the whistles carry from mountaintop to mountaintop on this craggy volvanic island. It’s a bit like Canary Clangers, for those who remember the 1970s…

After some factual stuff form the organisers, we were then presented with cups of the local wine (it was only 10.30am – this was more extreme than the red wine at lunchtime in the Rallye du Canal du Midi!) and tastes of local dips and cake. Well, now more than ever you don’t want to ignore free food.

ANyway, after all that, our boat finally arrived! She’s basically fine though we were disappointed to find various rubs and scrapes caused by straps and so on, but as we had brought a can of orange paint with us for a touch up session, it’s no big deal to cover a few more bits. And although we still have quite a lot to do, they’re all smallish things, whilst some crews have yet to sort their food into day bags and put them in the boat.

One blow was discovering that when I’d taken this laptop out of my bag at Gatwick togo through security, I’d shoved it back in again too quickly, and my new prescription sunglasses, which had annoyingly come only in a cloth bag, had finished up under it and are broken beyond repair. However, I’ve called Optilabs and ordered replacements which will come out with the dad of James from Facing the Atlantic who’se coming out at the end of next week.

THis afternoon R worked on the very messy job of sanding the current layer of antifoul on the bototm of our boat to ready it to be painted with a new layer tomorrow – you have to sand it with wet sandpaper as the dust would be too poisonous if you sanded it dry, and the result is a smudgy mess of red goo everywhere, and Richard looks like he’s just slaughtered an entire flock of sheep. However, the bottom’s now ready for it’s new coat tomorrow.

Sory, forgot to take pics today, but will attach some tomorrow evening.

Now need to go and find a purveyor of fruit and veg as the supermarket doens’t really sell them, and I don’t think we’ve eaten any in the last 48 hours.

And then to a beer at the Blue Marlin (thanks, Dave Heff!)

Dan, thanks for your text – good to hear you gave our car a good day out and she hasn’t broken down on you yet!


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